Thursday 22 March 2012

Rahul Gandhi takes a break from India (Sunday Guardian)

Rahul Gandhi | Photo: Reuters
By Madhav Nalapat
f a little bird which nests in the dovecotes of the stately buildings atop Raisina Hill is correct, Rahul Gandhi decided to take yet another break from India after the just-concluded assembly polls,travelling Business Class early morning of March 9 on a Thai Airways flight out of dusty Delhi into exciting Bangkok. The bird warbled that the Congress Party's Mr Always Correct spent a delightful week at pricey locations in Southeast Asia before getting back to Delhi on March 15 to resume helping Mamma run the party and the country
After absorbing the results of the 5 state assembly elections on March 6, Rahul Gandhi must have been a trifle disconsolate. After all,he spent months advertising the intense affection he feels for India's underprivileged. Despite his exertions,Congress candidates did poorly,including in Punjab,where even his worst critics did not expect Rahul's party to lose, while in Uttarakhand,it was a state BJP leader known for being generous both in the distribution of laddoos to his own party leaders and to rival Congress candidates of at least six BJP contestants who ensured that the Congress Party formed the government in Dehra Dun. Hopefully,memory of the laddoos consumed by them will stay the hand of the BJP leadership against this highly spirited saffronite from the hills of Uttarakhand
If those monitoring movements and safety of the man who was begged by Manmohan Singh to join the Union Cabinet are accurate,Rahul's hair colour became visibly lighter when he finally reached his holiday destination. Of course,the Youth Leader had shed his khadi uniform,wearing instead a faded pair of denims and a sports shirt. North Block avians say that the reason for the colour change is that while in India, Rahul's cranial hair is "blackened out of a tube", so that the 43-year old appears more a native of the subcontinent than a Mediterranean. However,such a conclusion may simply be conjecture, as may be reports that an individual who was "visibly close to Rahul" was waiting for him in Bangkok, with whom he participated in "a host of activities that were enjoyable despite being strenous"
The action sports indulged in by the youth leader and his holiday companion were not revealed by the little bird,who is wary of the many air guns in the vicinity of the Raisina Hill structures,all trained to shoot down gossips such as himself on sight. Following a pattern mandatory in external travels of the Maino-Gandhi's, no one from the media was anywhere near the comfortable locations where Rahul was getting over the disappointment of the just-concluded polls,not that Indian or international journalists have shown any interest in the overseas prereginations of the Maino branch of the Nehru family. And when they do report, taking thewir cue from a Swamy tweet followed up by an AICC spokesperson's clarification,the media mix up New York with London while mentioning the location where another member of the family recently travelled on a corporate jet,this time for reasons other than a holiday. Of course,the corporate jet was supposedly travelling to that destination to ferry a mid-level company official,who spent the flight in a seat close to a toilet
As the Mother of Transparency in India,who waved a magic wand and gave the people the Right to Information Act,hopefully Sonia Gandhi will initiate a Court Diary that tells her adoring people exactly when,where and how the country's post-royalty royalty travels.Till then,we will have to depend on the birds for information about the House of Maino-Gandhi

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